Does Bed Bug Spray Kill Roaches? The Surprising Answer

Bed bug spray that can be used to kill cockroaches

Countless homeowners want to know if bed bug spray kills roaches, and we understand why. Sometimes you don’t have the perfect spray or tool handy to deal with pests, and you have to act fast!

This guide will cover everything you need to know about using bed bug spray to kill cockroaches.

Does Bed Bug Spray Kill Roaches?

Whether you’re a homeowner, or you live in an apartment, chances are that you are going to encounter some kind of insect in your living space. Spiders, cockroaches, ants and even bed bugs are some of the most common invaders, and they can be pretty hard to get rid of once they get comfy and begin producing offspring.

But there’s something about cockroaches that makes people want to get rid of them as soon as possible. That means they’ll settle for grabbing any pest control product they have nearby!

So, let’s say you only happen to have spray for bed bugs in your home. Does bed bug spray kill cockroaches? The answer is yes, but there are some limitations you’ll need to be aware of.

Most insect sprays are made with chemicals that are known to be the most effective against a certain type of bug, but there is some crossover. You could have a spray that is designed to deal with ants, but it will also work on spiders. When you think about it, poison is basically poison, and most insects will die if exposed to any kind of spray that’s designed to eliminate them.

However, in the case of cockroaches, using bed bug spray will kill live cockroaches, but it probably won’t do well for getting rid of their eggs. Cockroach eggs have a very hard shell, and a bed bug spray probably won’t do anything to prevent the eggs from hatching. Spraying the bed bug spray into nooks and crannies probably won’t help either.

So if you decide to use your bed bug spray to kill roaches, just keep in mind that you won’t be able to kill many, and it won’t in any way solve the larger problem.

How To Kill Cockroaches With Bed Bug Spray

As we mentioned above, it is possible to kill cockroaches using a bed bug spray that you already have. We understand that it can seem like a waste to buy a new spray when you already have one for bed bugs. However, realize that unless you use an actual cockroach spray (or other proven methods), you probably won’t be able to totally solve your cockroach problem.

If you do decide to go the bed bug spray route, then there are some things that you can do to boost your chances for success.

The number one way to use bed bug spray to kill roaches is to spray them directly. Even though you are almost guaranteed to kill any roaches that you directly spray, this method is not very efficient when dealing with a large infestation. For every cockroach that you manage to spray, there are potentially hundreds that are lurking out of sight. You can combine this method with spraying into cracks and hiding spots, but that won’t really solve the whole problem either.

Some homeowners have had success spraying bed bug spray around the rooms of your home or apartment to create an insecticide mist. We don’t recommend this method because after you have killed a few roaches in the area, you will be left with a toxic residue that can be harmful to kids, pets and even adults after prolonged exposure.

Many people find that a combination of bed bug spray and cockroach traps works quite well. The theory is that the roaches will be drawn to the trap, and then you can use bed bug spray to kill them by spraying it on them directly. However, you are still only killing the cockroaches that you find on the trap and not the ones that are hiding around your home.

To summarize, bed bug spray kills roaches, but it is not a long term or highly effective solution. We tend to recommend more established DIY methods or help from a pest control expert if you have a serious infestation to get rid of.

Different Brands To Consider

If you do decide to try killing the cockroaches in your home with bed bug spray, then you’ll want to know which sprays work the best and why. Let’s take a look at some of the various brands of bed bug sprays to see how well the one you have may work against cockroaches.

A Crash Course In Insecticidal Chemicals

Before we do this, let’s talk about some of the chemicals that are found in bed bug sprays. This will make our discussion of the different brands easier to understand.

The three main chemicals found in many insect sprays are pyrethroids, pyrethrins and desiccants. Pyrethroids are organic compounds that target an insect’s nervous system. When added to an insecticide, pyrethroids pretty much kill on contact.

Pyrethrin, derived from chrysanthemums, is another kind of compound that is added to bug sprays. Pyrethrin also targets the nervous system, works fairly quickly, and sprays containing pyrethrin don’t usually leave a residue.

Bug sprays that contain desiccants such as diatomaceous earth, borax or silica gel work by getting rid of a cockroach’s hard outer shell. Eventually, the roach will die of dehydration.

Will Hot Shot Bed Bug Spray Work On Roaches?

Hot Shot is a very common brand of insecticide, and this brand offers different kinds of sprays for different bugs. Hot Shot spray contains a synthetic pyrethroid called imiprothrin, and it works great on fleas, bed bugs and bed bug eggs.

Unfortunately, Hot Shot spray that’s meant for bed bugs won’t do a great job of killing roaches.

Fortunately, this company makes an excellent cockroach spray. Interestingly enough, the cockroach spray is pretty good against bed bugs, so you might want to try using the cockroach spray if you are dealing with both roaches and bed bugs.

Raid Bed Bug Spray

Raid, the iconic brand associated with the famous slogan, “Raid kills bugs dead”, has been around since the 1950’s. They make a spray for just about every kind of insect problem from fleas and ants to cockroaches and bed bugs. Their bed bug spray contains a variety of chemicals such as the pyrethroid, metofluthrin, as well as piperonyl butoxide.

This bed bug spray will certainly kill cockroaches as well as bed bugs, but Raid bed bug spray needs to be sprayed directly on the roaches, and it is pretty much useless on roach eggs.

Obviously, it’s better to use a Raid  spray that is specifically designed for cockroaches if you want the best results. But if it’s all you have around you at the time, go for it!

Harris Bed Bug Killer As A Cockroach Solution

Harris Bed Bug Killer is a powerhouse in the world of bed bug insecticides. It contains imiprothrin, a potent pyrethroid, and it can be found as an aerosol spray or a trigger spray.

This bed bug spray will kill cockroaches quite effectively if you spray it on them directly.

Alternative Methods To Consider

If you’re not totally set on using bed bug spray to kill roaches, then there are several other methods you can try. Since these critters are never predictable, you may need to use several of these methods or try them in combination with each other. 

An easy and inexpensive method is to use cockroach traps. Roach traps are usually pieces of cardboard that are coated with a sticky substance. When placed in roach-prone areas, any roaches that step onto the glue will get stuck there. The advantage of using roach traps is that they are non-toxic and can be placed almost anywhere. The downside is that they only catch a few roaches at a time, so they are not a very good long term solution.

You could try using roach bait. The idea is that a cockroach will eat the bait and die. When other roaches eat the dead roach, they will be poisoned as well. However, roach bait is also toxic to people and pets, so extreme caution needs to be used.

Some people use boric acid in a homemade mixture, or they purchase ready-made boric acid tablets. You just put them wherever you see roaches. When a roach eats the boric acid, it will usually die within 72 hours. You can also spray them with bed bug spray for a little extra power!

Other things you can do include sealing up cracks and hiding places, keeping your kitchen clean, vacuuming on a regular basis and keeping trash cans tightly covered. 

If you have a serious infestation that you can’t seem to get under control on your own, don’t be afraid to call a pest control professional. A professional has the experience and tools needed to get rid of your cockroach problem for good.


Bed buy spray can kill roaches, but it’s not the ideal method. If you’re serious about taking care of these insects, we recommend more serious forms of pest control.

If you have questions about any of the information above, don’t hesitate to ask us! We do our best to connect with our readers and give them the help they need.

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